The Asbury United Methodist Church (AUMC) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has been welcoming guests through its doors for 228 years. Today, the church still offers religious services but also serves as a place for education and community activities. AUMC’s education and community wing totals 23,000 square feet of the building and quickly needed a long-term HVAC solution.
Pastor Bob Talbott and Bill Rees, AUMC’s chairman of the trustees, both agreed that the current HVAC system required too much maintenance, and that Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) was the perfect solution for the supplementary space. Rees said, “It was the efficiency and functionality that drew us to it – to be able to control individual rooms, to be able to schedule and change the temperature based on the comfort of the folks in the room.”
AUMC selected Blauch Brothers, Inc., Harrisonburg, to complete the project. Winston Rhodes, PE, design engineer, Blauch Brothers, felt Mitsubishi Electric was a wise choice. “Mitsubishi [Electric] was clearly the most field-proven; it has all the kinks worked out as the most mature product in the VRF line.”
Without going over budget, the installation was successful, and the result has been extremely positive for AUMC. The church now has the control and zoning abilities it wanted.
As Rees said, “The system has performed nicely given the variety of uses. Our education wing is used every day – morning, afternoon and evening. The big spaces are used, and the small classrooms are used. So it’s a variety of uses at a variety of times, and the Mitsubishi [Electric] system is performing very, very well.”
To learn more about the project, check out the case study here.
From September 28-29, we gathered with other ardent professionals at the first-ever Housing Innovation, Vision & Economics (HIVE) conference in Los Angeles. Industry leaders from the construction, design, business, public policy and education fields came together to discover ideas and create discourse about “the future of how people live, work and play.”
Throughout the two-day conference, attendees dove in depth in the housing field – connecting through conversation and technology. From keynote speaker presentations to networking breakfasts, attendees discussed the latest product innovations and services in addition to developing ideas about future product technologies that could change how professionals in the building industry think and work.
Specifically, our own Mark Kuntz, senior vice president and deputy general manager, took part in a 30-minute panel with other supplier professionals. Kuntz and other panelists engaged in discussion about how companies, like us, are integrating innovation into the development of products, culture and programs.
We were pleased to be an alliance sponsor of the inaugural #HIVELA2016, and look forward to hearing about the many new ideas and initiatives that are a result of this incredible dialogue.
Looking to gain some extra knowledge on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)? Check out our recent course, “VRF Technology: An Innovative HVAC system for Achieving LEED® Points,” published on AIA’s continuing education website, The Continuing Architect, presented by Architectural Products.
From this course, architects will learn about the benefits of VRF in comparison to other HVAC systems, as well as learn how VRF can help earn points toward a LEED certification. The course also explains how to find solutions for potential design challenges with VRF through examples from our recent case studies.
Photography: Tim Tyson: tysonmedia360.com
McVille Manor, located in Madison County, Alabama, has been passed down through one family since it was first built in 1814. The house also holds a place on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Through the years, McVille Manor has seen its share of expansions and renovations; however, none of them adequately addressed the home’s cooling and heating issues. In a climate that can easily reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 100 percent humidity, window units just weren’t doing the job. The 200-year-old home needed a minimally invasive system that could preserve the home, itself, as well as its original character.
Since the house is old and fragile, it could not support conventional ductwork. After consulting with contractors, museum curators and an architect, homeowner Marguerite Ellison chose our Zoned Comfort Solutions™, mixing and matching wall-mounted and floor-mounted units depending on what each space allowed and what looked best.
Eddy Childress, owner, Childress Air Conditioning & Heating, New Market, Alabama, was already a fan of Mitsubishi Electric before installing Zoned Comfort Solutions at McVille Manor: “With this system, you can install with limited impact to the space – not having to cut large holes in the walls or floor.” The house can now maintain a comfortable indoor environment year-round. With that reliable comfort finally secured, McVille Manor will soon begin hosting events, tours and weddings.
To learn more about the project and see a 360-degree virtual tour of the house, click here.
Registration for our free, hour-long webinars is open! Topics will include: energy efficiency, advanced heating technology and ventilation.
- On Tuesday, October 4, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT, Business Energy will host our own Kevin Miskewicz, LEED®Green Associate and director, commercial marketing; and Eric Dubin, senior director, national accounts and utility programs, to discuss energy efficiency. Attendees will learn about the latest energy efficiency innovations, energy mandates and utilities’ incentive programs.
- On Thursday, October 13, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CDT, Buildings will host a webinar in which Kevin Miskewicz is joined by our own Greg Hosselbarth, CEM, LEEDAP BD+C, regional manager, commercial, to discuss advanced heating technology. Attendees will learn the benefits of advanced heating technology and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) and how they are an unbeatable combination.
- On Wednesday, October 19, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT, Kevin Miskewicz and our own Joe Cefaly, manager, OEM applications, will discuss ventilation with HPAC Engineering. Attendees will hear about current trends and the future of ventilation.
Click on the topic to register for each webinar: energy efficiency, advanced heating technology and ventilation.
College campuses are trending, and not just with restaurant-quality dining or extra-curricular activities; they’re attracting high school graduates with student housing – specifically with “live and learn” residential communities. Building Design + Construction magazine reported on these newly developed accommodations that are practical and productive for students. A lot sounded familiar to the conversations we have surrounding the importance of smart HVAC solutions:
- “Universities Go Big With Common Spaces and Academic Areas.” When choosing housing, students look for a space that serves academic and social purposes because “a lot of what students learn isn’t in the classroom.” Therefore, residential areas must include space for students to study collaboratively or individually. For students to work comfortably in these areas, residential spaces should have an HVAC system with zoning abilities and that can quickly and effectively respond to shifting occupancy levels.
- “Housing Gets Branded as Lifestyle Takes Center Stage.” On- and off-campus housing that includes market-rate apartment amenities such as pools, fitness and media centers, and rock-climbing walls can encourage students to rent through university housing before looking to local apartment communities. To create physical space and a pleasant environment for these amenities, HVAC equipment must be small and whisper quiet; students want a rooftop pool, not a compressor farm.
- “Cost Plays a Bigger Role in What Gets Built.” Although comfortable and productive living spaces are ideal for campus housing, some schools are having a difficult time finding the land and capital to improve their accommodations. A large component of this problem is that colleges don’t have the resources and management experience to operate an expanded housing portfolio. However, if these schools are unable to renovate their housing entirely, they can start the process by upgrading to a new HVAC system. Energy-efficient systems offer schools reduced energy usage and low utility bills in addition to increased resident comfort.
To learn more about how HVAC can benefit the design and construction of student housing, check out these case studies featuring our products: The Suites on Paseo and Montserrat College of Art, Residential Village.
Healthcare Facilities Management magazine recently reported the success of some HVAC systems in health and wellness facilities. With stringent indoor air quality requirements, these facilities need systems that condition outside air, monitor and control humidity, filter air and provide ample ventilation. The article reported that beyond these measurable requirements, facility managers also want sustainable and energy-efficient systems. It also recognized a few manufacturers – including us – as meeting these needs.
Specifically, our latest Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) innovation, CITY MULTI® L-Generation Air-source technology, was recognized for its improvements in efficiency and its ability to maximize heat transfer. In regard to facility management, the magazine celebrated our Diamond Controls™ Solutions for its assistance in helping managers modify zone temperatures and observe building conditions, such as occupancy, CO2 levels, energy usage and humidity levels.
To learn more about how our VRF performs in health and wellness facilities, check out these case studies: Choctaw General Hospital and Grand Lake Mental Health Center.
On September 24, 2016, the Smithsonian Institution will cut the red ribbon to its 19th museum. Taking the last vacant site on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., The National Museum of African American History and Culture houses over 36,000 artifacts telling stories about how African Americans contributed to the foundation of today’s society. We are deeply honored to be a part of this momentous occasion and this important landmark.
Lead designer David Adjaye and lead architect Philip Freelon designed the building by drawing inspiration from cultures such as the Greco-Romans and Africans. The well-recognized, bronze-colored lattice wraps the entire building but also allows natural sunlight to brighten the interior. Adjaye’s exterior design choice was just one factor that helped the building become the first among the Smithsonian museums to earn LEED® Gold certification. The building contains other systems contributing LEED points, including solar hot water panels on the roof, a geothermal groundwater system and our CITY MULTI® Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning system.
To experience this historic opening and learn about history in a comfortable environment, check out the museum’s website to reserve free passes.
In the early 2000s, the tiny house trend hit the ground running when homeowners wanted to embrace a simplified lifestyle. As featured on HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, tiny house owners Mark and Jen Athanacio loved this new lifestyle because it combined affordable living and comfort in a small space. However, these advantages also came with a question – how can you adequately cool and heat a 224-square-foot house?
When the Athanacios moved from an efficiency apartment to a tiny house in Naples, Florida, they wanted an HVAC system that would provide quality cooling and heating without the stress of having to pay hefty household bills. The Athanacios worked with Speedy Air Conditioning, Inc., Naples, one of our Diamond Contractors™ to select a system that would also give them the ability to adjust airflow throughout the small space.
Limited interior space can be a challenge, but our Zoned Comfort Solutions™ proved to be a perfect fit for this tiny house. Just because the Athanacios’ cooling and heating system is small and their bills are low doesn’t mean their comfort is reduced. Talking about our M-Series system, Mark said, “It’s so quiet. I’m standing under [the indoor unit] right now and still talking on the phone! Overall, it’s just been fantastic. The system is so much more efficient and it looks so much better than window units. I don’t know why more people don’t do this.”
To learn more about how easy it is to install one of our zoned systems in a tiny house, read here.
The Sacramento Drill Tower, Sacramento, California, is an unusual building. A large water tank takes up two-thirds of the 9,476-square-foot, concrete facility. The other third is occupied by offices for the city’s firemen, administrators and IT personnel. For years, these occupants were cooled and heated by a four-pipe chilled-water and boiler system. When that system failed, the city installed our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology. The result: immense energy savings and easy maintenance.
When the building’s old chilled-water compressor failed, Nghiem Nguyen, the mechanical maintenance supervisor for City of Sacramento Facility Maintenance turned to our systems. “I was fully impressed by VRF and Mitsubishi [Electric]. They were so far ahead of everybody else when it came to VRF. The engineering aspect and operational maintenance were really in place . . . I knew this would be a great application. It wouldn’t be hard to retrofit since we wouldn’t have to open up the walls to pull out old lines. The real selling feature, though, was the energy savings. I knew it was going to be huge for us.”
Ngyuen was correct. Comparing pre- and post-installation energy data shows that the system’s efficiency has led to a total energy savings (kBtu usage) of 50 percent, and a total cost savings of 19 percent. Money has also been saved on maintenance: “We’re saving so much money on service calls and maintenance calls. We probably have a tenth of the service calls we had before.”
The Sacramento Drill Tower project was so successful that it inspired the city to use VRF at two more facilities. To learn more, check out the case study.